The Old First Ward

by Jim Trasente


I grew up in the First Ward and went to St. Lucy's grammar school. They were the best years of my life.

We lived at 120 8th Avenue, across from the Victoria Castle. We used to sit on the corner and tell jokes until our parents dragged us in.

During the summer we would go to Benny's Lemon Ice Store on High Street and during the day, go to the Clifton Avenue Pool across from Branchbrook Park.

The feast of Saint Gerard was something to look forward to!! Eat sausage sandwiches, ezapola, etc. I remember seeing Joe DiMaggio and Phil Rizzuto having dinner at a restaurant near the church. Some friends and I were looking in the window, we were young !!

I was looking at some old stuff and came across my little autograph book I got when I graduated from St. Lucy's and there was a page with Rizzuto's signature on it and one with Yogi Berra's on it, no kidding!

I remember all the great bakeries. Saul's drugstore, the Army and Navy Store on 7th Avenue where i used to get my blue jeans for five dollar's a pair and they were called dungarees at that time.

I loved all of it and would gladly go back and live those years again if i could. I live in Dover now.

I graduated Barringer in 1954 and attended my 50th reunion recently. love the ward and everybody in it.


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